The last time I wrote about the Garbage City in Cairo – and today I want to tell you what is hidden behind Cairo’s waste.
It is The Monastery of St. Simon the Cobbler, who lived towards the end of the tenth Century. He was a Coptic Christian and legend has it that in 979 he was chosen to do the miracle of moving Mokattam Mountain.
The Monastery was erected and dedicated to him a thousand years after his miracle and his death. It was named the Cave Church of Samaan El Kharraz, of St. Simon the Cobbler, at Mohattam. Finished in 1970, it was dedicated by the late Pope Shenouda III.
Passing through narrow, garbage filled streets, either by car or on foot, is the only way to reach the Monastery. We were in a car and after driving through an especially narrow opening in the rock, the mountain HAD moved and there was the Monastery with its churches, and the beautiful carvings all over the mountain representing stories from the Bible.
The main Cathedral is named after the Virgin Mary and St. Simon. Its amphitheater with an overhang of the cliff seats 10,000 people. Looking down on the endless rows of seats I tried to imagine what it is like when they are all filled with worshipers.
The Monastery is not on every tourist’s itinerary, and if it is not on yours, make special arrangements to come and experience this place – yes, it is an experience not just another sight to see.
More from Egypt soon